Codependents of Sex Addicts is a recovery program for family or friends whose lives have been affected by someone else’s compulsive sexual behavior.

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COSA is a 12-step program meant to give support and direction to those who are in a relationship with a sex addict or whose lives have been touched by someone else’s sexual addiction. The program stresses personal responsibility, accountability, and self-awareness and is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs. 


Sexual addiction may negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health, relationships, and general quality of life. Those in a relationship with a sex addict may feel alienated, helpless, and overwhelmed. COSA offers a safe and supportive atmosphere in which persons working towards recovery may share their experiences, strength, and hope with one another. 


COSA’s 12 stages are comparable to those of other 12-step programs, but they are adapted to the requirements of those with sexual addiction. The program promotes people to take responsibility for their own well-being, develop healthy coping methods to handle triggers and stresses, and cultivate meaningful connections with others. 


The first phase of COSA is to acknowledge helplessness over the consequences of another’s sexual addiction. This phase enables people to recognize that they cannot control their partner’s behavior and that they need assistance to break the codependency cycle. The second step is acknowledging the need for a higher power in the healing process, and the third step is deciding to surrender one’s life to this force. 


The fourth phase is taking a moral inventory of oneself, reviewing one’s behavior patterns, and recognizing negative tendencies that may contribute to codependency. The fifth step is to acknowledge one’s shortcomings to oneself, a higher power, and another person. This stage is intended to assist people in letting go of shame and guilt and beginning the healing process. 


The sixth stage is preparing to have these flaws eliminated, while the seventh step entails respectfully requesting that the higher authority remove them. The eighth stage requires compiling a list of all codependency’s victims and being willing to make apologies to them. The ninth step is to make direct reparations whenever feasible, unless doing so will do oneself or others damage. 


The eleventh stage is continuing to conduct personal inventory and acknowledging faults without delay. The eleventh step is attempting to strengthen one’s conscious connection with a higher power via prayer, meditation, or other spiritual activities. The twelfth and last stage is to spread the COSA message to those who may be battling with codependency and to use these principles in all aspect of one’s life. 


COSA also stresses the need of finding a sponsor, or a more experienced member who can provide direction and support during the recovery process. As people move through the 12 stages, sponsors may give practical counsel, share their own experiences, and provide accountability. 


One of the distinguishing characteristics of COSA is its emphasis on fostering community and connections among its members. Individuals are encouraged to attend frequent gatherings where they may share their experiences and provide one another support. COSA also offers tools and assistance to anyone who may be struggling to comprehend and manage with the impact of another person’s sexual addiction. 


COSA is not meant to replace standard medical or psychiatric therapy for codependence or other associated conditions; rather, it is designed to supplement it. Individuals are encouraged to engage with a therapist or other healthcare professional, if necessary, and to seek further help outside of the group.